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Santander fined $6.4 million over Puerto Rican debt sales

The Puerto Rican subsidiary of Boston’s Santander Bank has agreed to pay $6.4 million to a self-regulatory body that accused it of improper practices relating to its sale of Puerto Rican municipal bonds.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, said Santander Securities LLC would pay $4.4 million in restitution and $2 million in fines because its in-house risk-classification tool didn’t accurately reflect the risk of Puerto Rican debt for an 11-month period in 2012 and 2013 and didn’t adequately supervise employee trades from October 2010 to April 2014.

Santander Securites LLC is a subsidiary of Santander BanCorp. It is based in San Juan and employs more than 700 registered representatives, FINRA said. Santander BanCorp is owned by Santander Holdings USA, Inc., which is based in Boston.

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A Santander spokeswoman said the company was pleased to settle the issue and said the company had taken steps to improve its internal controls.


Jack Newsham can be reached at jack.newsham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TheNewsHam.